Over the last 30 years, EU cohesion policy has played an important role in the promotion of cross-border cooperation between regions through Interreg Programmes. There are lots of different types of obstacles to cross-border cooperation, which can have different effects on border regions. Among the obstacles, legal, administrative and institutional differences are a major source of bottlenecks. Other issues include the use of different languages, lack of public transport or incompatible labour market systems.
The overall objective of the study is to make a comprehensive review of existing external cross-border obstacles between EU Member States and Enlargement countries and identify those obstacles that can have an impact on the five Policy Objectives and two Interreg Specific Objectives laid out in the Cohesion Policy legislative package for the 2021-2027 programming period. The study provides orientations on how these obstacles could be addressed in the future by Interreg IPA CBC programmes.
Concretely, the study provides an inventory of different types of border obstacles observed at the external borders between EU Members States and IPA countries. Additionally, thematic case studies on cross-border obstacles and issue papers for planners and implementers in the six Member States bordering Enlargement countries, with good practices and recommendations to support the development of the new Interreg IPA CBC programmes, are developed. Finally, the study provides conclusions and policy recommendations, to be considered in the implementation of the future Interreg IPA CBC cross-border programmes.
The main methods used to implement the study are desk research, literature / document review and survey (for the inventory of cross-border obstacles), and case studies, including interviews with relevant stakeholders.
The study is led by Spatial Foresight, in partnership with t33 and EureConsult.